The UNM Resilience Institute is an interdisciplinary and cross-sector center hosted by the School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico. The aim of the center is to promote resilience based research and applications to addressing pressing societal challenges including climate change, aging populations and infrastructure, sustainable food-water-energy systems, and economic inequalities.
Billions of people worldwide rely on headwater-derived water. Water at high elevations is stored in glaciers, seasonal snowpack, groundwater, lakes, wetlands, and human-made reservoirs – providing a buffering effect that supports a consistent water supply during drier periods. Headwaters, however, are particularly sensitive to climate change impacts. Our research is focused on improving understanding of the resilience of headwaters and headwater-dependent-systems to climate change and other stressors.
Rio Chama E-Flows
The Rio Chama is an important tributary to the Rio Grande in Northern New Mexico – providing critical water supply to downstream urban and agricultural users. It is also on the receiving side of a large inter-basin water transfer from the Colorado River. Our research approaches the Rio Chama as a complex socio-ecological system with the goal of increasing system resilience for downstream users and also for the local ecosystem and economy of the watershed through the application of environmental flows.